Saturday, August 29, 2015

Skinny by Laura L. Smith

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Melissa: "Melissa opened the pantry: chips, Twinkies, cheese crackers. "Translation: fat, fat, fat," she murmured. She couldn't bring herself to eat any of it. She turned and opened the fridge: leftover bacon, grease, a slice of cheesecake, calories, lots of calories."

 High school isn't easy even at its plainest. But when one adds tons of homework, a cute boyfriend, and rigorous dance classes she just might go crazy. Or go thin. Melissa feels all the pressure on her and seeks to control the one thing she can: food. But when problems go sky-high and she constantly feels hollow, will her strategy work? Doesn't God want her to be thin?


 Skinny explores a topic that's pretty close to my heart - anorexia. The disorder has captivated my interest for years. Starving yourself to fit in is so easy... and so wrong. It's a problem many teenage girls get into because of all the pressure and expectations others - and they themselves - have for them. The media version of beautiful doesn't help in the least. Skinny delves into the thoughts and feelings leading to an eating disorder. Laura also shows us what God has to say about food, and that is so powerful. God is, in fact, a great Curer, and He heals to this day.

 I think the story could have been even better if written in first person, not third. Also, Melissa's boyfriend was underdeveloped and could have been improved by having other dimensions besides being cute. A scene/scenes from either church or youth group would have added to the spiritual side of the novel.

 Overall, Laura L. Smith has written a story that dips into a real and large problem teens face. She reminds us that God is the solution to it.

 This is the first in the False Reflection series. The second and third are Hot and Angry. Skinny is now free on kindle.

For more on Laura L. Smith visit her website and Facebook page.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Regaining friendships

~Friday for Friends~


Have you ever been far-far away from a friend and then you were close again? Wasn’t it SO awkward the first few times you met again? You groped for words and thought rapidly about the topics that could be easy to discuss. And then maybe after those few hard times it settled to normal and you were friends again. Or maybe it didn't work out. 
Isn't it amazing that God is always with us and that we can talk with Him anytime? He has called us His friends! 
"14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."  -John 15:14-15 (NIV)

Amen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Heavens declare God's glory

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Our family was on vacation the week before school. We saw for ourselves some of the wonders God has created. Seriously, nature is such great evidence that there is a God.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
  the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1 (NIV)


"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
Romans 1:20 (NIV)

How about you? What are some wonders you have seen? Did they remind you of God’s might?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nothing is impossible

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Nothing is Impossible" is a song sung by Planetshakers. Here are the lyrics.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

It is true! God can give us strength. And through Him we can do anything!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Out of the freezing water

~Saturday Stories~


It’s dark.
It’s hard to see the light.
Shadows are on the wall.
I feel alone.

Is there anyone
To lift me up,
To get me out,
To hold my hand,
When life is a dark ocean
Where I'm floating alone?

I hear a voice,
I feel a touch
Of Someone who cares.
He gets me out
Of the freezing water,
Brings sunshine into my life
And goes before me.

How about you? Has God delivered you out of the dark? Take a couple minutes to praise Him!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Take the time to... PRAISE GOD

~Friday for Friends~



"1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord." Psalm 150 (NIV)

Our God, our great Friend, is mighty, loving, righteous, faithful, and so much more. We need to remember more often to praise the One who has called us friends. He is worthy of the praise!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Change

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Change is a very very very scary thing. For me, at least. It is scary to leave what is known and perhaps comfortable to go and meet the future, the changes.

Of course changes will come. Every day is a bit different than the rest. And sometimes big changes will dash our “normal” lives to the ground and take their place. Sometimes these changes will seem good to us. Sometimes they won’t be what we want.

The good news is that, no matter what changes, we believe in an unchanging God.

"“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."" Malachi 3:6 (NIV)

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

As Corrie ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”



How about you? What is a change that has happened in your life? How did God help you through the transition?

Monday, August 17, 2015

There will be a day

~Monday Movies & Music~


"There will be a day" is a song by Jeremy Camp. Here are the lyrics.

Indeed, there will be a day when...

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

But as Max Lucado said, "We may speak about a place where there are no tears, no death, no fear, no night; but those are just the benefits of heaven. The beauty of heaven is seeing God." -

Oh, what a day it will be!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Roundup of the Street Rovers by Dave and Neta Jackson

~Saturday Stories~


"“You… there you are, you little thief! Police! Police! Catch that boy.” Pogo flapped his wings and darted into the air as Kip dropped his bag of papers at the feet of the two girls and ran."

Kip O’Reilly was sold by his father to a shoe tanner when he was eight. He ran away and, now thirteen, is a street rover, managing for his younger buddies and himself. When the boy is caught stealing, Rev. Brace is the only one who can help him out. The two only conditions – staying at the Aid Society and not stealing. This kind of life is so different from the one Kip lead. Can he manage?

Genre: historical, adventure. For those 11-14 years old. Issues dealt with: Family relationships, the life of the street rovers in the 19th century.

Roundup of the Street Rovers is part of the Trailblazer series. This book doesn’t really have God at the center of everything, but it does show how a life can change through contact with Christians. It introduces the historical figure Reverend Brace, making history interesting.

" “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"" Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

For more on Dave and Neta Jackson visit their website and Facebook page.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Take the time to... MEDITATE

~Friday for Friends~


This is the twelvth post in the Take the Time series. The rest are Take the Time to ListenEncourageTalk With SomeoneStop GossipForgiveCalm DownPlan AheadSmile, Thank God, Think of What is Right, and Rest.


"1 Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night." Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)

“Meditate” is not a very popular word in our fast-paced society. We strive to do things quickly, to get them done just in order to have them over with, to check things of our to-do lists as often as we can.
“Meditate” sounds slow and something people did a century or two ago. Not for us fast-paced folk.

Bad news. Or good news, probably. Meditating on God’s Word is a good thing. This is not coming from a person who has it all figured out and who is patient and loves to ponder the Bible. No, I am very often impatient about meditating. I don’t usually take the time – or don’t take much – to just think about how awesome God is, about how awesome His Word is.

But it is a good thing.

How about you? Do you like to reflect on God and His law? When was a time when you slowed down and did it? 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The sense of community

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Like I have mentioned before, fellowship with other Christians can be refreshing and fulfilling. When we feel free to be who God made us to be, when we open up and are not put down, when we encourage and are encouraged… that is a blessing.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

How about you? Do you have a community that is open and encouraging? What can you do today so others feel encouraged and loved? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Get ready

~Monday Movies & Music~


"People Get Ready" is a song sung by Crystal Lewis.  Here are the lyrics

We do not know the day when Jesus will come back. He calls us to be ready for Him! 

"“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."" Matthew 25:13 (NIV)

Are you ready for His arrival?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"You ask his forgiveness" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


“You ask his forgiveness for your sins, and you trust him to take charge of your life because He loves you and He knows everything. And then you’re friends, too.” ~ Erin, Heart to Heart

“It’s funny how people say they don’t believe in God but blame Him when something bad happens. He never gets credit for all the good days, just blamed for the few bad ones." ~Beth, The New Recruit



"Well, it's up to us to make the choice. We can reject a free ride on the boat to Hawaii, or we can sit here and say, 'Yes, I believe in that boat, and I believe in Hawaii.' But unless we actually get on the boat, we're never going to make it to Hawaii." ~Todd, Summer Promise

“Ah, but of course if we really knew how much work it’d be to change ourselves, we’d be too overwhelmed to get started.” ~ Amy, Out with the In Crowd

How about you? Which quotes can you share?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Take the time to... RELAX

~Friday for Friends~


This is the eleventh post in the Take the Time series. The rest are Take the Time to ListenEncourageTalk With SomeoneStop GossipForgiveCalm DownPlan AheadSmile,  Thank God, and Think of What is Right.

Paradoxically, sometimes rest and relaxation are one of the hardest things to do. We want to go on, press on, and work hard until we get it all done and win. Rest? I haven't got the time.

But rest is something we should do. God Himself rested on the seventh day. God tells us to...

"“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."" Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7(NIV)

Hebrews 4

I can find rest in the one way it really really matters - in Christ.

Read more about resting in Hebrews 4 and online.

How about you? Can you rest today - in Him? Who can you share this wonderful message of rest with?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Talk with God continually

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  (NIV)

Sometimes we go about our day not thinking much about God. We worry about meeting deadlines, fixing lunch, getting all that’s needed done, and –every once in a while – relaxing. But how often do we stop and think “God, this is so hard” or “Wow, You’re awesome, Lord” or “Thanks so much. I needed that.” Our God is always with us.

Are we going to take the time to talk with Him? 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fireproof

~Monday Movies & Music~


Caleb Holt is sick and tired of his family life. Absolutely nothing is going right. Then his father dares him to give it another try. Forty days. This should be pretty easy, right? No. How can he be expected to love someone who never loves him back?

Fireproof is a pretty good Christian movie,fueled by a beautiful message of unconditional love. Despite all we have done, God still loves us!

How about you? What Christian movie have you watched and liked? What was its message?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

We'll see each other there

~Saturday Stories~


To the memory of Danika P.

So many have gone before us,
On this path called death,
Some to everlasting life
Some to everlasting hell.

And when you too
Shall close your eyes
And breathe your final breath
I hope you see Christ smile at you
Together you'll laugh at death.

I hope He says
"Dear child of Mine,
My death has cleansed your sins,
There is no awful dead of yours
That I have not forgiven."

There's but one way
To be so sure
That heaven's where you'll be
Ask for His mercy and give your heart
To the One who'll set you free.

So many have gone before us
On this path called death,
But if you're going to heaven too
We'll see each other there.

How about you? Have you lost anyone you knew, even if only a little? How has God helped you in your grief?